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Even Warlock (Handlock) deck list guide - The Witchwood - Hearthstone (July 2018)

Handlock is back and our essential guide will help you play it to perfection.

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Our Even Warlock (Handlock) deck list guide features the best deck list for Season 52 of The Witchwood (July 2018). Our Even Warlock (Handlock) guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

New card Genn Greymane is a very special kind of card from The Witchwood set, and this Neutral Legendary has a powerful synergy with your hero power. If you pack your deck with nothing but even-Mana cards then Genn will reduce its cost to one Mana, and do so right from the very first turn of a match.

This has some pretty major implications for the Warlock cards you're able to include in such a deck, and we wanted to put together a Genn Warlock guide which highlights the latest deck list being used in competitive play. This effectively marks the return of the Handlock archetype, where you're encouraged to Life Tap, build a fat hand, and empower cards like Twilight Drake and Mountain Giant.

After the deck list itself we've also got detailed strategy advice and a look through the Mulligan process too. Card combos can be found even further down the page, and we've also got a look at all the Warlock cards Genn excludes - handy if you want to think about your own version of the deck.

UPDATE - JULY 2018 #2

Even Warlock is still very much top of the tier list right now and so we've taken the opportunity to update our deck list and ensure we're highlighting the most competitive version of the deck in play. Expect more updates to this article throughout the month, and do let us know in the comments of any positive tweaks you've made to the format yourself.

Even Warlock deck list and strategy

Here's the strongest deck list that's seeing play at this current stage of the Witchwood meta. We'll be updating it over time so check back regularly for updates if you plan to pilot this one long-term.

WarlockNeutral
2 x Defile1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 x Vulgar Homunculus2 x Doomsayer
2 x Hellfire2 x Plated Beetle
2 x Hooked Reaver2 x Sunfury Protector
2 x Lesser Amethyst Spellstone2 x Shroom Brewer
2 x Dread Infernal2 x Spellbreaker
1 x Bloodreaver Gul'dan2 x Twilight Drake
1 x Genn Greymane
1 x The Lich King
2 x Mountain Giant

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAf0GBIoHws4Cl9MCzfQCDYoB8gX7BrYH4Qf7B40I58sC8dAC/dACiNIC2OUC6uYCAA==

General strategy

If there’s a sense of familiarity to the way Even Warlock is constructed then you might’ve been a fan of Handlock back in the day. This new version is played similarly in principle as you Life Tap to fill your hand with cards, drop big minions on the board and then give them taunt to set up an impassable wall of creatures.

The deck archetype has been difficult to play in recent months as there’s been a significant lack of healing available to keep you alive against fast decks, although new cards in recent sets have gone some way to fix that. Now the addition of Genn Greymane, which discounts Life Tap to one mana, may be the final piece to bring it all together again.

Early game: Life Tap. Life Tap. And Life Tap. That’s most likely going to be your play on turns one, two and three. Genn Greymane reducing your hero power to one mana does mean you should be able to throw in a two drop on turn three as well. Doomsayer is worth playing into an empty or average board, whereas you might want to consider Defile or Vulgar Homunculus if your opponent has a fast opener.

Mid game: Always slam down a Mountain Giant or a Twilight Drake on turn four if you have one as they’ll be the most impactful plays at this stage of the game. You’ll want to look into giving the biggest minions you have taunt as soon as possible using Sunfury Protector.

If you’ve taken a bit of a beating in the early game you can look to heal up with Lesser Amethyst Spellstone. This card is best played when upgraded at least once, so hold off unless there’s a minion you desperately need to remove. Hellfire is your big AOE card should you need to clear the board down.

Late game: Continue planting big minions on the board and taunting them up to overload your opponent with gigantic threats. The Lich King can pile on the pressure even more, and if your own health is 15 or below Hooked Reaver is now worth playing. Eventually, they’ll run out of ways to remove all these enormous cards efficiently, and you can start sending all that damage directly into their health pool.

More great guides:

Aggro Opponents

Some tips on dealing with aggro decks:

  • 1. Control the early game with your cheap removal cards such as Defile.
  • 2. If you’re not holding any removal, try to set up the strongest wall of taunt minions you can.
  • 3. Using Life Tap frequently in the early game may seem dangerous against aggro but you have taunts and healing to keep you safe going into the mid-to-late game.
  • 4. As soon as your opponent extends too far on the board you can go for a Hellfire play to wipe out all of their minions.
  • 5. As soon as you have your wall of giant taunt minions established you can start ignoring their weak little minions and go straight for their life total.

Control opponents

How to handle control opponents on ladder:

  • 1. You have even more freedom to Life Tap in the early game against control as they’ll have a slow start too.
  • 2. Doomsayer on an empty board can be even better against control opponents if it disrupts their plans on the next turn.
  • 3. You can use Spellbreaker to negate taunt minions or cards with powerful effects and continue the onslaught of giants.
  • 4. Be prepared to lose your first couple of big minions to their removal effects, but make sure you have another larger play follow-up for later turns.

Even Warlock Mulligan guide

The match-up will determine which cards you want to prioritise in the mulligan, but these are a few you should look out for:

  • 1. Mountain Giant: Chances are your early turns will be spent using Life Tap so you’ll be able to get a Mountain Giant out very early.
  • 2. Twilight Drake: Get this for the same reason you’ll want Mountain Giant – your hand will be full of cards, giving the dragon a big health boost.
  • 3. Vulgar Homunculus: A less impactful early game taunt but one that can nevertheless be helpful to slow down aggro decks.
  • 4. Doomsayer: A must-have against aggro, this will prevent you from being overwhelmed in the early game.
  • 5. Plated Beetle: A welcome early-game minion that also has a beneficial Deathrattle effect.

Even Warlock tips and card combos

Keep these potential card combos in mind when playin Even Warlock.

- Defile deals one damage to all minions on both sides of the board. If any minions dies, it gets cast again. The process repeats until no minions are removed.

- Once you're down to beneath 15 Health, Hooked Reaver becomes a 7 / 7 minion with Taunt.

- Twilight Drake gains an extra point of Health for each card you have in your hand when you play the Dragon onto the board.

- Mountain Giant costs one Mana less for each other card you have in your hand.

- Always keep in mind that Hellfire will damage both heroes and all minions on the board. Make sure you get the most work you can from your minions if they're likely to die in the fire anyway!

- In its most primitive form Lesser Amethyst Spellstone deals three damage to a minion and gives back the same amount in health. Take self-inflicted damage from a card like Hellfire though and that value increases to five. Damage yourself one more time and that increases to seven. Note that Life Tap does not affect this upgrade process.

- There's potential synergy between Dread Infernal and Defile, allowing you to trigger a chain of the spell that might not otherwise have been available to you.

- When Bloodreaver Gul'dan is played all friendly Demons that had perished earlier on in the match will be re-summoned onto the board. You also gain a new hero power which does three points of damage to a target while also restoring three points of health to your hero.

- The Lich King grants you one randomly chosen card from the Death Knight pool when you hit End Turn. Here's what's on offer:

CostNameDescription
2Death CoilDeal 5 damage to an enemy, or restore 5 Health to a friendly character.
2Death GripSteal a minion from your opponent's deck and add it to your hand.
2ObliterateDestroy a minion. Your hero takes damage equal to its Health.
3Death and DecayDeal 3 damage to all enemies.
4Anti-Magic ShellGive your minions +2 / +2 and “Can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers.”
5Doom PactDestroy all minions. Remove the top card from your deck for each minion destroyed.
6Army of the DeadRemove the top 5 cards of your deck. Summony any minions removed.
7FrostmourneDeathrattle: Summon every minion killed by this [5 / 3] weapon.

Even Warlock card choices and substitutions

A handful of key cards make up the Even Warlock deck list and there isn’t much room for alternatives. This is still a relatively cheap list to craft though.

  • Doomsayer: Necessary for slowing down aggro decks and forcing opponents to rethink their turns. Worth crafting if you can.
  • Sunfury Protector: One way to give the deck’s big minions taunt. Use this if it’ll fit your mana curve better or it’s going to affect your smaller cards such as Ancient Watcher or Shroom Brewer.
  • Lesser Amethyst Spellstone: Wait until you’ve upgraded it twice if you can to get more back from the Liffesteal, though it can also be used at its base level in a pinch.
  • Twilight Drake: Will skyrocket in health if you spend the first few turns using Life-Tap and it only gets better when you bulk it up to a taunt minion.
  • Genn Greymane: A perfectly acceptable six mana play, but all you really need it for is the cost reduction on your hero power.
  • The Lich King: Just another big late game minion that can also provide some useful cards with unique effects.
  • Mountain Giant: Synergises so well with your hero power that it’s mandatory to run two. As soon as you give them taunt they become significant obstacles for your opponent.

Genn Greymane and Warlock cards in the Classic / Basic sets

Genn Warlock decks loses access to some signature cards for the hero. Here's what you won't be able to include in this kind of deck from the Classic and Basic Warlock sets:

Classic

  • Blood Imp (1 Mana)
  • Flame Imp (1 Mana)
  • Felguard (3 Mana)
  • Sense Demons (3 Mana)
  • Void Terror (3 Mana)
  • Bane of Doom (5 Mana)
  • Doomguard (5 Mana)
  • Lord Jaraxxus (9 Mana)

Basic

  • Corruption (1 Mana)
  • Mortal Coil (1 Mana)
  • Soulfire (1 Mana)
  • Voidwalker (1 Mana)
  • Drain Life (3 Mana)
  • Shadow Bolt (3 Mana)

Genn Greymane and Warlock cards in the Standard format

When the Year of the Raven begins, all of 2016's card sets will be rotated out of the Standard format. That means starting from April 12th you'll only be able to make use of The Witchwood, Un'Goro, Kobolds and Frozen Throne cards in Standard.

The following cards from those sets can't be used in a Genn Greymane deck.

The Witchwood

  • Dark Possession (1 Mana)
  • Witchwood Imp (3 Mana)
  • Duskbat (3 Mana)
  • Ratcatche (3 Mana)
  • Deathweb Spider (5 Mana)
  • Lord Godfrey (7 Mana)

Un'Goro

  • Lakkari Sacrifice (1 Mana)
  • Chittering Tunneler (3 Mana)
  • Feeding Time (5 Mana)
  • Tar Lurker (5 Mana)

Frozen Throne

  • Sanguine Reveler (1 Mana)
  • Howlfiend (3 Mana)
  • Treachery (3 Mana)
  • Unwilling Sacrifice (3 Mana)
  • Blood-Queen Lana'thel (5 Mana)
  • Despicable Dreadlord (5 Mana)

Kobolds and Catacombs

  • Dark Pact (1 Mana)
  • Kobold Librarian (1 Mana)
  • Possessed Lackey (5 Mana)
  • Skull of the Man'ari (5 Mana)
  • Voidlord (9 Mana)

Other Baku / Genn deck guides:

Baku the MooneaterGenn Greymane
Odd DruidEven Druid
Odd HunterEven Hunter
Odd MageEven Mage
Odd PaladinEven Paladin
Odd PriestEven Priest
Odd RogueEven Rogue
Odd ShamanEven Shaman
Odd WarlockEven Warlock
Odd WarriorEven Warrior

Genn Greymane and Warlock cards in the Wild format

As hard as it is to predict how the Warlock's Wild prospects look right now, we can take a view of the current top-tier decks. Here's the impact that Genn Greymane will have on this side of the Warlock's game in The Witchwood:

Wild Giants Warlock

  • Kobold Librarian (1 Mana)
  • Loatheb (5 Mana)
  • Naga Sea Witch (5 Mana)
  • Mal'Ganis (9 Mana)
  • Voidlord (9 Mana)
  • Molten Giant (25 Mana)

Wild Cubelock

  • Dark Pact (1 Mana)
  • Kobold Librarian (1 Mana)
  • Mortal Coil (1 Mana)
  • Prince Taldaram (3 Mana)
  • Carnivorous Cube (5 Mana)
  • Doomguard (5 Mana)
  • Loatheb (5 Mana)
  • Possessed Lackey (5 Mana)
  • Mal'Ganis (9 Mana)
  • Voidlord (9 Mana)

Wild Renolock

  • Dark Pact (1 Mana)
  • Mistress of Mixtures (1 Mana)
  • Power Overwhelming (1 Mana)
  • Brann Bronzebeard (3 Mana)
  • Zola the Gorgon (3 Mana)
  • Faceless Manipulator (5 Mana)
  • Leeroy Jenkins (5 Mana)
  • Loatheb (5 Mana)
  • Possessed Lackey (5 Mana)
  • Mal'Ganis (9 Mana)
  • Voidlord (9 Mana)

Wild Zoo Warlock

  • Flame Imp (1 Mana)
  • Kobold Librarian (1 Mana)
  • Malchezaar's Imp (1 Mana)
  • Power Overwhelming (1 Mana)
  • Voidwalker (1 Mana)
  • Imp Gang Boss (3 Mana)
  • Arcane Tyrant (5 Mana)
  • Bane of Doom (5 Mana)
  • Demonheart (5 Mana)
  • Doomguard (5 Mana)

If you're just getting caught up on all the latest information on Hearthstone's eighth new card set, have a look at our essential Witchwood guide. Our Monster Hunt guide will get you up to speed on the new single-player content too.

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